Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a number of questions and answers about the TV Panel that you may find useful. If these do not answer your queries, you can always send your query as an email to info@tvpanel.org or call us on 9360 7373.



What is the TV Panel?

The TV Panel is a panel of volunteers who participate in research studies by the Interactive Television Research Institute at Murdoch University. Participants are TV watchers 18 years old or over and live in the Perth metropolitan area. The research investigates people’s television viewing behaviour and future trends in television advertising and programming made possible by new television industry technologies. All of our research undergoes review and approval by the Murdoch University Human Research Ethics Committee.

Who does the research?

The research carried out with TV Panel participants is run by researchers from the Interactive Television Research Institute (ITRI) at Murdoch University. You can find out more about ITRI on their website www.itri.tv.

How do I get to the Audience Research Lab at Murdoch University?

The TV Panel conducts its research studies at the Interactive Television Research Institute’s facilities - the Audience Research Lab - at Murdoch University. These facilities are located on Murdoch University’s South Street campus, near car park 6 and student village. You can spot the free standing building by the caravan parked out the front and the big satellite dish. Download a map here. Free parking is available to TV Panel members outside of the facilities (just grab a permit from our reception). Murdoch University is about 15minutes south of Perth city or east of Fremantle and easily accessible from the Kwinana Freeway’s South Street exit if you are driving. If you are using public transport, you can get off at the Murdoch train station or use buses stopping within the university or along South Street. Please visit the Transperth website for train and bus connection information.

What do I need to do in a study session?

While every study we do is different we have a template that we generally stick to. A typical study session is about an hour long and consists of about 30minutes of watching television and then filling out a questionnaire, plus some administration time. We use a lot of programming and ads from the USA, often not previously seen in Australia, suitable for general or mature audiences. You generally watch this as an individual in a mini-lounge room with a widescreen TV and in a comfy chair. In certain studies we may also look to collect physiological data during your viewing session, such as your heart rate to or changes in the conductivity of the skin on your finger tips to gauge attention, enjoyment and excitement. As with all of our research, these procedures are voluntary and, if required, will be explained to you when we call to invite you in to participate.

Do I get compensated for participating?

Yes. When you have completed a typical study session with us – it is normally about an hour long - we compensate you for your time and travel with a $20 Coles Myer gift card. Sometimes studies may require more of your time for additional procedures and we adjust your compensation accordingly. If this is the case, we will explain this when we call to invite you in. While we will try to keep the form of compensation consistent year-in, year-out, we may need to change it due to circumstances beyond our control.

What are the ‘additional surveys’ all about?

To enable us to get a more rounded picture about TV watchers we occasionally send out surveys to our participants to complete online or by post. These can be on a range of media, behavioural, personality, psychological or consumer type issues and like our studies at our facilities are purely voluntary. As these surveys are designed to supplement data collected during your experiences at our facilities, we are not able to cater to participants that are only able to complete online/postal surveys and are not able to attend sessions at the research lab.

How often will I be called to take part in studies?

We will be conducting at least six studies each year between 2008 and 2010. However, as we often require only 200-300 people per study, and as the TV Panel grows (we already have about 1500 members), and because we pick people randomly, you may not be invited to take part in each and every one of the studies.

Can my spouse/partner/family/friend join too?

Definitely, as long as they are over 18 years of age, within the Perth metropolitan area and are able to come into Murdoch University to take part in the studies. Please note, however, that we can not guarantee that your spouse/partner/family/friend will be invited to the same studies as you are as our invitation system is random.

What happens to my personal information?

Any and all information that we collect on you we hold in secure databases that only the researchers at ITRI can access. We only use your personal contact details to contact you for ITRI conducted research. We do not provide your details to third parties for marketing or other purposes, unless required to do so under Western Australian law.

Do I get to learn about the results of the research?

Yes. When you take part in one of our studies you can request to be informed about the results. We will notify you of these when we have published them in the public domain, usually in an academic journal, but until then our results are confidential. Please note that publishing in academic journals involves a review process that can be rather lengthy and it may be some time before we can share them with you.

What are the TV Panel office hours?

There is always someone here to take your call from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, except some public holidays for which Murdoch University is closed. If we are not able to take your call then and there please leave your name and phone number clearly on our answering system. When we are conducting the research studies we have sessions between 9am and 9pm seven days a week.

What do I do if I can’t make my appointment?

In most situations if you are running only a few minutes late it is not a problem as it will not impact upon the next TV Panel member booked in. However, if you can’t make an appointment or it just slipped your mind (it happens to the best of us!) we would really appreciate it if you could give us a call on 9360 7373 and let us know, and we will be more than happy to reschedule you at a time that suits you better.

Who do I contact for general TV Panel information?

If you have queries about signing up to the TV Panel, want more information about the TV Panel, have a query about your membership or will be unavailable for a while, please call 9360 7373 or email info@tvpanel.org.

How do I change my contact details?

If you need to change any of your contact details with us please call 9360 7373 or email info@tvpanel.org with “change my details” in the subject line.

Who do I contact if I have concerns about the research?

If you have any concerns about the research that you have been asked to take part in or have already participated in you can contact ITRI’s Director, Professor Duane Varan on 9360 6035 or d.varan@murdoch.edu.au or the Deputy Director, Associate Professor Steve Bellman on 9360 7350 or s.bellman@murdoch.edu.au with “TV Panel Query” in the subject line. Alternatively, as all our research is reviewed and approved by the Murdoch University Human Research Ethics Committee, you can contact their office on 9360 6677 or human.ethics@murdoch.edu.au.

How can I quit the TV Panel?

If you decide that you no longer wish to be part of the TV Panel after signing up with us, please provide us with your membership number and full name either via email takemeoff@tvpanel.org or call us on 9360 7373.